December 11, 2012

Sixth set of Pathfinder oils and other stuff...

Recently released is the 5th book in the Pathfinder game's current "Shattered Star" adventure path, so its time to show some more of my oil paintings from that 6-book job.  I'll update another time with some of the digital work I did as well.

As I near the one year mark from having started to use oils in my illustration process I feel like I'm honing in on the technique to use that works for fantasy gaming illustration.
Up to this point I have been working under extreme deadlines, doing about 3 paintings a month, plus a few digital illustrations at the same time.  The longest I've spent on a painting is about 5 days, and that feeling of being rushed has not allowed me to take the process slowly to get to a 100% result I'm happy with.  There's no sitting back in my smoking jacket rubbing my chin and looking at the paintings upside down; just render, render, render!

The process for my oils the entire year was to get through the drawing stage as quickly as possible in order to accommodate doing so much work at once. (also time to mount and prepare surfaces, etc) Below you can see the process of drawing directly in the computer, which I had to employ as a tool to deal with the deadlines. Using this method I was able to produce quite alot of paintings this year, however I never actually drew with pencil and paper the entire year and thus I don't have any drawings to sell... but a necessary omission to get through it all!
Below is an early thumbnail or stage in the drawing.  This is close to what I would get approved, as I have a trusting relationship with my art director, and he can evaluate the image at this point without the characters being costumed.   I have learned for speed to get an early part of the process approved rather than indicating the costumes and details, and then having to redo all that work once the structure is finalized.  

Spending about a day on each drawing gets me to this point where I can then print off the digital drawing to mount on board and paint on...

 The final oil painting...

Another painting in this set of a Dragon fighting a "Shoggoth" on the side of a mountain...

Also, I've shown this on Facebook, but here is another recently released Warcraft card for their "Feast of Wintervale" holiday set.  This is a "mechanical Greench" busting outta his box.  RAWR!™ 

 Lastly, I recently produced a new podcast of our Illuxcon panel on "Strengthening the Artist's Role in the Industry".  You've probably heard this already if you're remotely connected to the fantasy illustration community on Facebook, but in case this is news, give it a listen!

Future updates and past podcast episodes can be found on facebook as well...

Finally, everyone interested in improving the lot of freelance illustrators should get involved and follow this page on Facebook, relating to the ideas put forth in the Podcast and panel above...



  1. If I were in a rock band, that first picture would have me lobbying for us to change name to Flaming Mammoth.

    Or to put it in a less convoluted manner - that looks so... darn... awesome!

  2. Beautiful work as per usual, Mike !! Love the Wind-up Greench !! =) Need to join the podcast for my weekly listening on the new machine, great stuff..

  3. It's fun to watch your oils grow more detailed and confident with each batch. Awesome work, as usual. :)

  4. Damn, Mike! These are bad ass. :) I especially like the mechanical greench ;) looks like it was a lot of fun